Everyone has settled in for the family meal and the conversations are all lighthearted. That is, until someone brings up receiving a phone call from a debt collection agency. Your stomach instantly turns into stressful knots, as you try to explain why the third party debt collector called you at home. The phone call to a loved one from a bill collector spills over into your personal and professional lives. Your work performance drops and as a result, your boss cuts back on your hours. You feel like there is nowhere to turn for help, which is the feeling many debt collection agencies want consumers to feel.
Fortunately, a groundbreaking federal consumer protection law forbids third party debt collectors from contacting relatives in regards to a delinquent credit card or a personal loan balance. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), bill collectors cannot harass or intimidate consumers into paying off debts. Harassment and intimidation include the act of contacting one or more family members concerning the payment of an outstanding credit card or a personal loan account. If you feel threatened by a debt collection agency like Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc., you should respond by speaking with a licensed consumer protection attorney.
It is Illegal to Threaten Legal Action
The FDCPA devotes an entire section of the historic federal consumer protection law to the issuance of threats. A representative from Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc. is not permitted to threaten you in any way. The representative cannot threaten to take personal property for liquidating it into cash to pay off a consumer debt. Third party debt collectors are banned from threatening to contact the IRS or a law enforcement agency. Perhaps the greatest protection granted to consumers by the FDCPA is the prohibition of issuing threats to take legal action. If Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery has threaten legal action, you must act quickly by working with a seasoned FDCPA lawyer.
How a FDCPA Attorney Can Help
After a free initial consultation, your FDCPA lawyer will consider one of several options to fight back against Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery. One option involves settling the debt through negotiations. An experienced FDCPA attorney will have the negotiating skills required to settle an outstanding credit card or a personal loan account. You will provide your FDCPA attorney with financial records to help the lawyer decide on the terms of a debt settlement.
Another option is to invoke the statute of limitations set for debt collections by your state. Most states have debt collection statute of limitations that span between two and four years. Many debt collection agencies bank on consumer ignorance when it comes to invoking the statute of limitations for collecting debts. Your FDCPA attorney will determine when the last activity was conducted on the account to establish the time when the statute of limitations clock began ticking.
Having a third party debt collector threaten legal action can turn your life upside down. Take immediate action to end the threats by speaking with a highly rated consumer protection lawyer who has a proven successful record of litigating FDCPA cases.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.